Have you had a couple of drinks? Don’t worry, DrinkMate has got your BAC!
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 30 people die every day in the U.S. as a result of drunk driving accidents. The most heartwrenching part of it all is that such instances can be prevented. Cognizant of this, the Edge Tech Labs team has set out to heavily reduce the number of drunk driving occurrences and corresponding fatalities with its latest innovation.
DrinkMate is a lipstick-sized breathalyzer — measuring 1.9″ x 0.6″ — that plugs directly into your iPhone’s lightning port. This prompts an accompanying app to launch, and seconds later, for you to blow into the end of the device. Your blood alcohol content (BAC) will then appear on the screen.
What’s more, the app enables you to easily connect with friends, partner apps and other programs currently in development. The idea behind DrinkMate is that, the more that the people around you are aware of your BAC and location, the better off he group will be as a whole. Peer pressure, either physically or digitally, can be used in positive way to make safer choices.
“DrinkMate and its app fundamentally change the image and goal of breathalyzers. Its design inherently draws in friends and people around you to see what you’re doing in a friendly manner. If your friend keeps blowing a high BAC number, can you really just sit there and let them make a mistake? You can’t — you’re forced to help them make the right choice,” its creators explain.
If the concept sounds familiar, that’s because Edge Tech Labs completed a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, for its proof-of-concept Android version, having garnered just shy of $100,000 from 2,800-plus backers. Since its debut, the team has significantly improved its circuitry, design and packaging for a retail-ready model that is compliant with Apple’s MFi program. Aside from that, the mobile app has been completely revamped with an enhanced user experience, interface and plenty of additional features.
With a tinyAVR MCU at its heart, the extremely portable and lightweight gadget (only 0.2 ounces) is powered entirely by your iPhone — no battery required. Not to mention, the specially-crafted air inlet on the end of DrinkMate is tasked with slowing down and directing air towards a built-in custom sensor to ensure accurate readings without any contact. In other words, this will be great news for germaphobes!
“Our sensor manufacturer has created a brand new high-quality sensor for us and utilizes specialized quality control measures of our design. This new sensor is more accurate, robust, and has a quicker recovery time in between readings,” the team reveals.
Impressively, DrinkMate can produce results within 0.01% at a BAC of 0.02%. While the sensor has a maximum BAC limit of 0.20%, chances are that if you’re past that threshold, you’ll probably need help standing anyways.
“We compute BAC in a fundamentally different way than pre-existing breathalyzers so that DrinkMate is minimally affected by sensor changes over time. Our proprietary algorithm has been developed over months of testing, thousands of DrinkMates (Android units from last year), and accounts for sensor age effects in its operation.”